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Migration of Youth for Foreign Employment

Nepali migrant workers in Malaysia. Graphic: THT

Youths are majorly the ones building social cohesion, economic prosperity and political stability in a nation in an inclusive and democratic way. As going by the definition, youths are not only the leaders of tomorrow, but also the partners of today. They are therefore, a crucial segment of the nation’s development and their contribution is highly essential. 

Acknowledging that, it still remains difficult to decide on the drivers of migration among adolescents and youth. It is noted that young people’s motivations to migrate are often linked to the search for decent livelihoods due to lack of employment and/or under-employment, indecent working conditions and poor economic prospects in countries of origin. Even in Nepal, since the recent past, it is much evident that a huge number of Nepalese youths are fleeing abroad for better employment opportunities only because of the absence of local employment option. It has also been concluded that young people comprise considerably larger share of contemporary migration flow.

Why adolescents and youths?

Adolescence and youth are pivotal stages of human development, during which young people make the transition from the dependence of childhood to the independence of adulthood. During adolescence the investments and gains of early and middle childhood come to fruition; however, these gains must be sustained and consolidated to ensure an effective transition into adulthood.

A positive migration experience during this age period can set young migrants on a successful path toward capitalising on their accomplishments and developing economic and social assets for their future. However, if migration takes place during these years and the circumstances are negative, the experience can have particularly dire and traumatizing consequences for adolescents’ short and long-term future. Even their countries of birth and destination stand to lose an enormous potential contribution to social, economic and cultural development.

In the context of Nepal

In Nepal, the youths are deprived of getting quality job because of many reasons, however, it should be well understood that youths are resourceful, resilient, adaptable to new environments and they can actually be considered for ventures. Similarly, the youths should also note that there are ample of opportunities that they can opt for. Recently, a youth led organization focused on improving health and nutrition of women children and young girls in Nepal- SOCHAI, won an international competition called Lead 2030 Challenge organized by One Young World. Likewise, there are a countless number of youths and youth activists as such who have succeeded in making a mark like that. Bilal Ahmed Sah who has been leading in his entrepreneurial venture- Latido Leathers; Navraj Parajuli- leading in Nepali literature; Pavitra Gautam, who has been leading an exceptionally well doing in a new educational development company Karkhana; are some of the youths who chased their dreams and succeeded at an early age. It is us youths who should create a platform for ourselves rather than seeking for one instituted by somebody else.

So, it is usually up to the youths to decide on whether they would want to stay back and work forth for the upliftment of the nation, or to go abroad, pour in all their efforts there and aim to live their own life qualitatively. 

Shreyasa Dhakal